Effects of benevolence, integrity, and ability on trust-in-supervisor

June M L Poon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Purpose: This study aimed to examine the predictive effects of trustworthiness attributes (i.e. benevolence, integrity, and ability) on trust-in-supervisor. Design/methodology/approach: A field survey using a structured questionnaire was used to gather data from 107 white-collar employees from diverse organizations in Malaysia. The data were analysed using hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Findings: The results showed that perceptions of supervisor benevolence, integrity, and ability predicted trust-in-supervisor both directly and interactively. Further analysis revealed that integrity and ability interacted in a compensatory manner to predict trust-in-supervisor when benevolence was high but not when it was low. Research limitations/implications: Study limitations include the use of self-report cross-sectional data. The findings underscore the importance of looking beyond statistical models that test only for main and two-way interaction effects in research examining trustworthiness attributes. Researchers should consider examining three-way interaction effects or run the risk of having a misspecified model. Also, research to determine the relative importance of trustworthiness attributes and the conditions under which one attribute is given more weight than another is needed. Practical implications: Supervisors should be made aware of the importance of treating their subordinates with benevolence. Nevertheless, because benevolence is a necessary but insufficient condition for fostering trust, employers must ensure that their supervisors have high integrity and ability or, at the very least, one of these attributes. Originality/value: This study highlighted the importance of examining higher order effects in research examining trustworthiness attributes and provides what is perhaps the first empirical test of how benevolence, integrity, and ability interact to predict trust-in-supervisor.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)396-407
    Number of pages12
    JournalEmployee Relations
    Volume35
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

    Fingerprint

    Trust in supervisor
    Integrity
    Benevolence
    Trustworthiness
    Supervisors
    Interaction effects
    Statistical model
    Relative importance
    Multiple regression analysis
    Self-report
    Empirical test
    Malaysia
    Employers
    Questionnaire
    Cross-sectional data
    Design methodology
    Order effects
    Employees

    Keywords

    • Ability
    • Benevolence
    • Integrity
    • Malaysia
    • Trust-in-supervisor
    • Trustworthiness

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Industrial relations
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

    Cite this

    Effects of benevolence, integrity, and ability on trust-in-supervisor. / Poon, June M L.

    In: Employee Relations, Vol. 35, No. 4, 06.2013, p. 396-407.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Poon, June M L. / Effects of benevolence, integrity, and ability on trust-in-supervisor. In: Employee Relations. 2013 ; Vol. 35, No. 4. pp. 396-407.
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